March 30, 2012

The Weeklies #209

The Weekly Stroke of Genius. The TacoCopter.

The Weekly Part of My Body That Seems to Be Pissed At Me. My back.

The Weekly Read. Lisa Lutz is a fantastically funny author who just released the fifth installment of the Spellman series - Trail Of The Spellmans. Like it's predecessors it's endearing and absolutely hilarious. Out of five possible Rude Cacti, I deducted one only because my memory sucks and I had to try and figure out some of the backstory contained in the four previous books. Admittedly, this isn't Lutz's fault.

The Weekly Music. Supergroups are hit and miss. Some end up becoming more than a sum of their parts, some drastically less. Luckily, Flying Colors is in the former category. Made up of keyboardist and vocalist (and my favorite all-around musician) Neal Morse, guitarist Steve Morse (no relation), drummer Mike Portnoy, bassist Dave LaRue, and singer Casey McPherson, this band is amazing. What's even more stunning is the fact that all these guys met, wrote and recorded the hour's worth of music in nine days. This is what music should be people.

The Weekly Random Fact. Margaret Wise Brown - author of Goodnight Moon - was reportedly a bisexual party girl who died in France of an embolism after recovering from an appendectomy.

The Weekly Date Phrase. "Homey don't play that."

The Weekly Biggest Loser. Dave Mustaine. Lead singer and guitarist for the highly overrated metal band Megadeth, Mustaine seemingly believes not only that Santorum is the best fit for the Oval Office but that Obama was not born in the United States. Yeah, a metal birther.

The Weekly Question. 8:00 AM conference calls on Friday can only be devised out of pure evil, right?

Posted by Chris at 7:00 AM | Comments (4)

March 29, 2012

Public Outcry

Today I have a question with very little prose. I ask out of frustration. I'm tired of hearing about Skittles and ice tea, tired of Spike Lee posting addresses that implicate the wrong people, tired of hearing about the dangers of wearing a hoodie from pathetic excuses for journalists.

What should be done about Trayvon Martin?

Posted by Chris at 7:44 AM | Comments (14)

March 28, 2012

Baby Got Back

It was clear at 4:00 yesterday morning that I'd done something terrible to myself. I woke up, opened my eyes, and said - out loud - shit, this isn't good. Then I somehow managed to fall asleep. Until 6:00 at which time Owen woke up and demanded that I come and visit. I - the only correct word here is - shambled into his room, cuddled and, again, fell asleep. Until 7:00 when I woke up, stood up and realized that I couldn't, well, stand up.

Somehow in the middle of the night I sprained myself. These things can only happen when you're approaching a certain age.

I spent the majority of the day with a heating pad on my back, wincing in pain when I moved and self-medicating with liberal amounts of whining, Advil, heat, and beer (after 5:00). I am still hobbled. My back feels like James Caan's legs after Kathy Bates got done with them in Misery.

There's no rest for the weary though. Even the old and weary.

I'm not the only one who's body has started to betray them, right?

Posted by Chris at 7:56 AM | Comments (11)

March 26, 2012

Porn For Trains

On Saturday night - for reasons I cannot remember for there was beer involved - Beth and I were reading a Wikipedia article about porn. The article made some bizarre claim that men liked straight porn while women preferred erotic novels and fan fiction. And somehow that led to us Googling fan fiction which, in turn, led to this:


And that, in turn, led to erotic fan fiction about Thomas The Tank Engine.

Let me just say that again. Erotic fan fiction. About Thomas The Tank Engine.

I realize this is the point at which you think I've just coined a new euphemism for something or I've somehow forgotten the fundamentals of the English language and just typed that random collection of words instead of the Republican candidates are all asshats or something.

But no. I really meant it. Thomas The Tank Engine. Laying some track, so to speak.

There's absolutely no way I can do this justice so I'll just turn you loose on what Beth and I read. The story is justifiably disturbing but the running commentary provided in the accompanying blog post is nothing short of genius. It is perhaps the funniest (albeit most disturbing) thing I've ever read on the internetwebospornosphere.

I'd also like to ask a very simple, succinct question: WTF?

Posted by Chris at 8:02 AM | Comments (9)

Haiku For Monday #406

On Sunday, my dad
turned seventy. Which means I'm
turning forty soon.

Posted by Chris at 7:57 AM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2012

Not The Weeklies #1

Whenever there's a family thing - a parent-teacher conference, time that Beth teaches at Mia's school, or something special like a play or performance - Beth tells me, I open up my calendar and I block out the time. I live and die by my calendar. If it's not accurate, I'm totally lost.

Over the weekend as I was reviewing my calendar and the upcoming week:

Me: What do we have on the 23rd?
Beth: Nothing as far as I know, why?
Me: I have the whole day blocked off.
Beth: Huh?
Me: My calendar. It says I have the whole day off.
Beth: Well, we've got nothing as far as I know.
Me: Shhhh. I'm taking it anyway.

And I am. For no obvious reason I'm taking the day off. And that includes The Weeklies. So I strongly encourage you to talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you some topics:

- Etch-A-Sketches
- Things you're most looking forward to about spring and summer
- Your favorite letter of the alphabet
- Sweater vests: Chic or knitted evil?
- Things that a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck would not chuck wood


(And have a fantastic weekend.)

Posted by Chris at 6:47 AM | Comments (6)

March 22, 2012

Phil Collins, Icebergs, and Jedi Robots

I'll admit it - Phil Collins is a hero of mine. Let's be honest. He drummed - then fronted and drummed for - one of the greatest bands of all time (before they went all commercial Top 40), launched a successful solo career while playing in an undercover jazz band, drummed for hundreds of fantastic musicians, played Live-Aid on two continents in a 24 hour period and remained a pretty cool, down to earth guy. Now he's largely dropped out of sight, choosing to pursue his primary interest in life. The Alamo. Yep, Phil is obsessed with The Alamo.

And, minus all successful music stuff, I can kinda understand since I've been obsessed with the Titanic for most of my life.

Last night, Owen and I were flipping through the latest pictures of the Titanic on my iPad. They're incredible - composite photos made up of hundreds of separate images stitched together to show what the Titanic as a whole looks like at the bottom of the sea. Owen wanted to know everything. And he has some theories about the Titanic's sinking.

Owen: Dad, dad, dad. I know what happened.
Me: Okay, tell me.
Owen: There was an iceberg and the driver wasn't looking so he hit his head on it and couldn't steer the ship so it sank.
Me: Amazingly, that's not too far off.
Owen: How did they take those pictures?
Me: They sent incredible submarines and robot cameras down to the bottom of the sea and took thousands of picture.
Owen: I know what kind of cameras!
Me: Robot cameras.
Owen: Jedi robot cameras.

There you have it. Though you'd think with the Force, they'd just lift the damn thing out of the water.

What have you been obsessed with?

Posted by Chris at 7:00 AM | Comments (10)

March 21, 2012

Access Denied

Let's talk about ethics for a second. According to Gizmodo and the Associated Press:

Prospective Employees Are Now Being Asked for Facebook Login Details

It's no surprise that employers check out the Facebook profiles of prospective employees—after all, you can learn a lot from what people choose to broadcast. But reports are amassing of employers asking recruits for their login details—and that's a step too far.

Associated Press reports that when Justin Bassett, a New York statistician, was interviewed for a job recently, he was asked to disclose his Facebook user name and password. Bassett withdrew his application—sensible man—but many people might not be in a position to hinder their future employment prospects.

Apparently - according to other things I've been reading recently - this kind of thing is becoming the rule, not the exception. I have to admit that I'm kind of horrified. Asking for this kind of information is something that would never even cross my mind since it seems so terrifically unethical and an inherent invasion of privacy.

Of course, no one asked me. But I will ask you. Is requiring or even asking for access to your Facebook account ethical?

Posted by Chris at 7:39 AM | Comments (26)

March 20, 2012


I've always been kinda good at a lot of things. I'm a good parent, I can write, I can play a guitar pretty well. I snap a decent photograph, I'm a good boss and I know what I'm doing professionally. I can play tennis but my serve sucks, I'm an okay cook, and I think I'm a decent enough web designer. But I've been racking my brain for the longest time to figure out the one thing that I'm really good at, the one thing that could translate into making a living.

I was in a meeting the other day. I was the one being asked questions of so a couple hours prior I figured I better have some answers. So I did a nominal amount of research. The meeting went great and told people what I knew. They seemed to be impressed.

And that's what I'm good at. Research.

I know, it sounds boring. Really, really boring. But I enjoy facts. I enjoy knowing things and tying those pieces of knowledge together into some meaningful whole. Now I just need to figure out a way to do more of it and make a million bucks doing so.

What are you good at? Do you get to use that goodness on a regular basis?

Posted by Chris at 8:18 AM | Comments (12)

March 19, 2012


It was a gorgeous weekend and we make the absolute most of it. Really. I shit you not. I'm completely wiped out.

- Early morning fishing trip
- Ice skating
- Lunch out
- Afternoon play
- Dinner out

- Summer clothes try-on
- Board game day
- Room clean-up
- Dinner with Mimi and Grandpa
- Impromptu backyard soccer game

Having kids that are four and six is awesome. They don't need to travel with accessories. We can just wake up, jump in the car, go and do. It helps that our kids are awesome. Accept for a few purposefully thrown elbows and some general bitching about trying on clothes on Sunday, they were almost angelic. They're troopers.

Me? I'm exhausted.

Posted by Chris at 8:05 AM | Comments (1)

Haiku For Monday #405

The best sleep is one
in front of a cool, breezy
window. With sunrise.

Posted by Chris at 8:04 AM

March 16, 2012

The Weeklies #208

The Weekly Beer. Great Lakes Brewing Company India Pale Ale.

The Weekly Word I Like For An Inexplicable Reason. Catapult.

The Weekly TV. This season of Survivor (yes, we've been watching since the first season and will probably continue until Jeff Probst is in a wheelchair being airlifted to remote islands) is nuts. Seriously, the best study in group dynamics on TV.

The Weekly Music. I feel about the band Say Anything like my father must have thought about me in high school. He knew I was smart and capable yet after a strong freshman year I just stopped trying. Say Anything is a brilliant band, immensely capable of smart, indie goodness. Their first album (Say Anything Is A Real Boy) was this brilliant, raw, smart hunk of music and emotion that still gives me chills. But everything they've released since has been just, well, meh. I was holding my breath for a strong release when their latest Anarchy, My Dear. Sadly, I can't say that it truly redeemed the band but did reinforce just how awesome Say Anything is. This album isn't their best but it's better than 90% of the stuff I've listened to in 2012 thus far.

The Weekly Sound. The surprisingly loud mating calls of our horny pond frogs.

The Weekly Person. Everyone involved wit Improv Everywhere, a group committed to reacquainting adults with the idea of playing.

The Weekly Question. What should we do about Syria?

Posted by Chris at 7:55 AM | Comments (5)

March 15, 2012

Pink Slime

Let me get my biases out of the way up front in the spirit of full disclosure:

  • I don't eat meat. I haven't eaten meat for 10 years.
  • My vegetarianism wasn't a result of any particular objection to meat but, instead, a realization of the fact that I didn't actually enjoy eating meat.
  • Over the past five or six years, vegetarianism has evolved into something of a moral stance since I believe that the industry is rife with cruelty to animals and a general disregard for the humans who consume them.
  • I'm not an extremist. I buy animal products. I would never be accepted at a PETA meeting.
  • I don't care what you do. Vegetarianism is a personal choice. You like meat? Good for you. Grab a burger and eat it in front of me. I miss them sometimes. Oh, and bacon.

Have you heard about pink slime? If not, you should. Here's how the issue was encapsulated by an ABC News report:

Gerald Zirnstein grinds his own hamburger these days. Why? Because this former United States Department of Agriculture scientist and, now, whistleblower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls “pink slime.”

Zirnstein and his fellow USDA scientist, Carl Custer, both warned against using what the industry calls “lean finely textured beef,” widely known now as “pink slime,” but their government bosses overruled them.

According to Custer, the product is not really beef, but “a salvage product … fat that had been heated at a low temperature and the excess fat spun out.”

The “pink slime” is made by gathering waste trimmings, simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria. The process is completed by packaging the meat into bricks. Then, it is frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.

The “pink slime” does not have to appear on the label because, over objections of its own scientists, USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled it meat.

“The under secretary said, ‘it’s pink, therefore it’s meat,’” Custer told ABC News.

Yeah, ew. It gets worse...

Carl Custer, a retired microbiologist who spent 35 years in the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service, toured a BPI factory in 2002 while investigating salmonella in ground beef. "We originally called it soylent pink," Custer told The Daily. "We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat."

Custer's former colleague Gerald Zirnstein coined the term "pink slime," which was then popularized by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

According to Custer, the USDA ruled that "pink slime" was safe, despite concerns, because a George H.W. Bush appointee who had been president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association -- undersecretary JoAnn Smith -- pushed it through. Smith now serves on the board of directors of Tyson Foods, the largest chicken, beef and pork processing company in the world.

"It’s more like Jell-O than hamburger, plus it’s treated with ammonia, an additive that is not declared anywhere," Custer said.

But wait, there's more...since the US government is buying seven million pounds of the stuff with quite a bit directed at school kids. According to Fox news:

The company that sells ground beef treated with ammonia proclaims their meat mixture is good for America's schoolchildren, even though parents across the country are seriously questioning the safety of what has been dubbed "pink slime."

Beef Products Inc. (BPI) made the declaration about its "lean finely textured beef" or LFTB over the weekend to The Daily, which broke the news that the federal government plans to buy ground beef that contains 7 million pounds of the product in the coming year. After the report, "pink slime" became the most searched topic on the internet.

"Including LFTB in the national school lunch program's beef products accomplishes three important goals on behalf of 32 million kids," BPI spokesman Rich Jochum said. "It 1) improves the nutritional profile, 2) increases the safety of the products and 3) meets the budget parameters that allow the school lunch program to feed kids nationwide every day."

To summarize, it's gross, laden with chemicals and might not actually be meat, but it's cheap! So by all means lets give it to our kids.

Please tell me that - despite and in acknowledgement of my biases - I'm not alone in seeing the horror in this. Please? I'm not alone. Right?

Posted by Chris at 7:01 AM | Comments (17)

March 14, 2012


JJ is the best cat we've never owned. JJ lives across the street but his kids live with his mom in far away New Jersey. So he visits us in the hope that Mia and Owen will play with him. And despite the fact that they're both allergic to him, they do. In return JJ lavishes them with attention

If you see my kids in the neighborhood, JJ will likely be in tow. He follows Mia to the bus stop. He visits the pool during the summer. We've had to leave our garage door open all night because JJ refuses to leave exit. JJ frequently sits on our back deck railing, looking in our windows over Mia's shoulder while we're sitting at the dinner table. He's a regular at our sliding glass living room door where he can look in, see the kids, paw the window and let us know he's ready to play. Yesterday, for example, he helped Beth pull weeds in the garden, hung out while we fed the fish in our pond, played with the kids most of the afternoon then accompanied us on a long walk around the neighborhood after dinner.

JJ is 10 years old and an outdoor cat to boot. JJ won't be around forever. Beth and I live in fear that one day JJ won't appear. And we hope that some neighbors eventually own another cool cat that isn't ours.

Posted by Chris at 7:47 AM | Comments (6)

March 13, 2012


Huh. That's weird. Apparently I forgot to post this morning. That never happens.

Posted by Chris at 12:38 PM | Comments (5)

March 12, 2012

Jock (Or, How I Got My Ass Handed To Me By A Six Year Old)

I have an athletically checkered past. I started playing tennis in elementary school and continued through college. I ran cross country (and hated it) in high school and also ran track (shorter distances rocked). I also bowled in a Saturday morning league all through high school. (Admittedly I did this because it was the one sport I could smoke during.) Beth was never all that involved in school athletics. She can run, though, and is in better shape than I am. And she doesn't throw like a girl. Still we wouldn't make one good jock if you combined us.

Amazingly, though, Mia's turning out to be one.

Mia was the star of her coach-pitch baseball team last spring. She's an amazing swimmer, taking of the butterfly at age five. I took her to the neighborhood tennis courts earlier in the week and she proceeded to amaze me by returning the balls I threw her way. Yesterday the four of us went bowling. And Mia beat me. Sure, I hadn't bowled in a long time and for some reason I couldn't find my bowling mojo. And, yes, in the very last frame when we were separated by two points, I might - just might - have been a little more, uh, inaccurate than normal. But still, she beat me. I was a little slice of amazing.

Were you a jock?

Posted by Chris at 7:54 AM | Comments (13)

Haiku For Monday #404

Daylight savings time
can suck it. Especially
that 'spring ahead' part.

Posted by Chris at 7:52 AM | Comments (1)

March 9, 2012

The Weeklies #207

The Weekly Beer. Any. All.

The Weekly Internet Phenomenon I Don't Understand. Kony.

The Weekly Read. This week I read A Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure by Chris Gethard. I checked it out because it had a blurb by Patton Oswalt and I will do anything Patton Oswalt tells me to because he's the funniest man on the planet. Anyway, the book was good. It was hilarious, actually. Chris Gethard recounts tales of manic insecurity that are both hilarious and cringeworthy. It's a book that made me feel a little less oddball. Or at least confirmed that there were other oddballs out there besides myself.

The Weekly TV. I don't actively seek it out but when it's on I find myself strangely compelled by Celebrity Apprentice. Perhaps it's the magical powers of Donald Trump's hair.

The Weekly Music. I realize that for the majority of you progressive rock isn't your thing but I gave Unitopia's Artificial a spin this week. I've owned this album for a year and never realized just how insanely good it is. If you're feeling musically adventurous, give it a whirl.

The Weekly Question. Everyone should figure out their person of the week, the person who made the most impact or had the most profound effect on them. Mine's my grandmother. Her health is failing but she's a fighter and the very definition of stoicism. Who is your person of the week?

Posted by Chris at 7:26 AM | Comments (4)

March 8, 2012

Facebook And Restraining Orders

I was reading something on my iPad when an Facebook update popped up on my screen. I believe it was in response to my post last night that read Caillou is a whiny bitch with which many concurred. Of course, Mia read it and asked me all about Facebook. She was intrigued.

Mia: What's Facebook.
Me: It's a place online where you can post messages about anything.
Mia: Why?
Me: I'm not really sure. But you write something then other people who might be interested comment and you end up hearing from a lot of people.
Mia: Why?
Me: I'm still not really sure. But it's kinda cool.
Mia: If I were on Facebook my first post would be Once I ate an ant and now people call me an anteater.
Me: Good to know.

Meanwhile, Owen's developed a crush on Taylor Swift.

Owen: Where does Taylor Swift live?
Me: Siri, where does Taylor Swift live?
Siri: I've searched the web and found an answer.
Me: Owen, Taylor Swift lives in Nashville.
Owen: Can we go see her in the car?
Beth: Remember how long it took to go to Ohio and back? That's how long it would take to get to Taylor Swift's house.
Owen: Oh, maybe we can invite her to our house on an airplane.
Me: Yeah, we could totally do that.
Owen: You send her an invitation.
Me: Okay. What do you want it to say.
Owen: Taylor, come to our house on an airplane. My name is Owen. I'm four.

So if you see any anteater posts on Facebook or hear about Taylor Swift taking out a restraining order on a four year old, that's us.

Posted by Chris at 7:52 AM | Comments (9)

March 7, 2012

Rush To Judgment

Rush Limbaugh is an asshat of the highest order. The recent Sarah Fluke incident is merely a reminder that Rush is King of the Asshats. I'd like to remind anyone who takes him seriously that Rush flunked out of college after two semesters then became Jeff Christie, top 40 radio DJ. He's hardly qualified as a political analyst. In fact, Rush is nothing more than an angry, failed DJ who likes to stir up trouble and read about himself in the news the next day. He's a narcissist with a vicious mean streak, nothing more.

Look, people, believe what you want to believe, think what you want to think. If you're a right wing conservative who believes that abortion is evil, gay marriage is wrong, contraception is a travesty, and universal healthcare is socialist, fine. But don't let yourselves be influenced by a sexist, a huckster, a bigot.

In his apology, Rush said, "I acted too much like the leftists who despise me. I descended to their level, using names and exaggerations. It's what we've come to expect from them, but it's way beneath me." No, Rush. No it's not. It's exactly what we've come to expect.

Did Rush cross the line? If so, should there be consequences?

Posted by Chris at 7:52 AM | Comments (17)

March 6, 2012

What I Want To Learn More About

The other might as I was putting Mia to bed she complained that school was boring. She's a smart kid. This complaint does not surprise me. She and I talked about this for a long time. Then I handed her a pen and a piece of paper. "Make a list. Everything you want to learn more about. Then you and I will tackle it together." She immediately began furiously writing. I told her she didn't have to write it now, that she could jot something down when she thought of it. She ignored me and kept writing.

The next night while I was putting her to bed, she silently walked to her dresser, picked up the list - now two pages long - handed it to me and expressed her desire to learn everything. That night. I explained this would be a gradual thing, that I was not going to tackle division, polar regions, multiplication tables and penguins in a twenty minute time period. We decided to stick with multiplication.

But all of this got me thinking. What do I want to know more about?

- Robyn Hitchcock
- Global warming and environmentalism in general
- How to grow a good garden
- North Korea
- How to play the cello
- Vladimir Putin
- Glass blowing
- Linux (specifically Ubuntu)
- Spanish

Hello, Wikipedia.

What do you want to learn more about?

Posted by Chris at 7:46 AM | Comments (10)

March 5, 2012

Ohio (Or, Home)

Of the last 48 hours, we've spent around 14 hours in the car and added 800 miles to the speedometer. In the process we tested our kids' patience and found out just how much Owen can eat during 8 hour car rides. (As it turns out, he racks up an impressive calorie count during a car trip.)

We got a call on Friday night that my grandmother wasn't doing well. All our weekend plans went out the window. We quickly packed our stuff and headed out early Saturday morning.

My grandmother was in better shape than I'd expected. I spent a while talking to my aunt who lives around the corner from her. "She's going downhill fast. I wanted you to see her while she was still her. I'm glad you came home."

I've never lived in Zanesville, Ohio. If I added up the time I've spent there since I was a kid, visiting my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and other assorted family that seems to be omnipresent in Zanesville, it would probably add up to three or four months. If that. It's definitely not where I hang my hat, where I live and work and raise my family. But it's where both sets of grandparents planted their roots, where my parents went to high school and met and fell in love and married. It's where the majority of my family remains. And while I've never formally adopted it, never lived there or planted roots of my own, yes, it's home.

Maple Avenue - the town's main thoroughfare - was named after the fact that it was lined with maple trees. Those trees were sacrificed to the widening of the road and the development of strip malls and fast food restaurants. I'm told it used to be beautiful. It no longer is. But drive down Maple Avenue with my dad and he'll tell you everything about every building that's still in existence. And everyone who's opened a business in every remaining building. He still knows them all. The Kroger store he worked in - was the butcher for while putting himself through college - still stands. The kids that work in it are probably remarkably like him. They probably went to the same elementary school on Dresden Avenue, made fun of the same girls they'd eventually marry, and had the same dreams of escaping the maple-lined streets of small town Ohio.

Again, I guess, in a sense, it is home.

My grandmother is going to die soon. She's tired. She wants to be with her husband. The next time we go to Zanesville will be for her funeral. But I guess it's only right to go home to celebrate the life of someone who planted her roots so very deep.

Posted by Chris at 7:33 AM | Comments (9)

Haiku For Monday #403

Holy crap. Almost
forgot the Monday 'ku. That
would be a first. Sheesh.

Posted by Chris at 7:31 AM

March 2, 2012

The Weeklies #206

The Weekly Band Name. I think I've settled on Loud Sons of Bitches. But I'm still not sure.

The Weekly Bodily Function. I just sneezed.

The Weekly Vowel. O.

The Weekly Read. I finally made it through Andrew Grant's Death In The Kingdom. I'm really torn on this one. After reading the description I'd expected a humble Far Eastern thriller. What I got was a pseudo-James Bond novel. Once I finally gave up and admitted to myself the book was silly, I enjoyed it a lot. But I had to suspend disbelief. Actually I had to suspend disbelief from the highest crane over a pool of hungry sharks. What bothered me most were the constant use of exclamation points and the implausible or just downright false things. Like the fact, by 1991 the main character had met both Bush presidents while they were serving. So, sure, the author should have checked Wikipedia before writing that sentence but still the book was okay. It was an enjoyable, mindless adventure. I'm planning on buying the sequel.

The Weekly TV. I'm still enamored with Community. It's the most unique show on TV and I can't help but laugh at Chevy Chase.

The Weekly Bodily Function, Part II. Dammit, I sneezed again.

The Weekly Music. Ever really checked out Cheap Trick? They've been kicking around for a lot of years but I'd never given them a shot. Until this week. I've discovered that they're pretty darn brilliant. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.

The Weekly Bodily Function, Part III. Seriously?

The Weekly Question. Rumor has it that the new iPad will be released next week. Do you care? Are you a tablet owner?

Posted by Chris at 7:23 AM | Comments (4)

March 1, 2012


The other day, our internet connection went down. This was annoying on several levels the first of which was the fact that I was trying to work from home. Instead, I found myself hastily shaving, showering, and putting on a suit that was a far cry from the ripped jeans and Foo Fighters t-shirt I'd been wearing. The second was that it the gravity of the situation became increasingly clear. Especially after we found out that it was going to be twelve hours until the problem was fixed. I guess what struck me the most was how dependent we've become. Take, for instance, the internet-connected devices we have around the house that get used daily:

- Wii
- Roku (streaming video)
- Kindle
- Beth's iPhone
- My iPhone
- iPad
- Beth's laptop
- My MacBook
- My work laptop
- The crappy laptop we use as a file-server

Two questions popped into mind.

1) How did we deal 10 years ago?
2) How extreme are we compared with the rest of the world?

So I ask you - how many internet connected devices do you have and use?

Posted by Chris at 6:59 AM | Comments (18)